Person

Jeff Timmer

Occupation:

Republican Political Strategist

Nationality:

American

Jeff Timmer is the former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party. He became a “Never Trump” activist and senior advisor to The Lincoln Project, a liberal political action committee that released several dozen anti-Trump advertisements in 2020 and faced allegations of financial and sexual improprieties in 2021.

Career Before 2020 Election

Timmer, a longtime Republican Party activist in Michigan, served as executive director of the state Republican Party from 2005 to 2009 under then-chairman Saul Anuzis. Timmer oversaw the state Republican Party during its worst defeat in a modern presidential election, then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s 16-point win over U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008. After Sen. McCain’s campaign pulled resources out of the state in 2008, Timmer allegedly threatened to arrest four college-aged Republican volunteers who attempted to distribute campaign literature in the state. [1] Timmer was active in Michigan’s congressional redistricting in 2011. [2]

From 2009 to 2012, Timmer was a Republican member of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, which certifies Michigan election results, including in presidential elections. He resigned in 2012 after reports that state board members had conflicts of interest. At the time of his resignation, Timmer was “a partner in Sterling Corporation,” a political consulting company that works with Republicans on ballot campaigns that appeared before the Board. Timmer also voted to strike a referendum  that challenged the appointment of an emergency manager to oversee the city of Detroit from the 2012 ballot, a referendum that Sterling campaigned against. [3]

In the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign, Timmer was an adviser to former Ohio Governor John Kasich’s (R) campaign. [4] Timmer refused to endorse Donald Trump in 2016, calling President Trump a “clown show.” [5] Timmer said that he did not vote in the presidential election because he “couldn’t bring [himself] to vote for Hillary Clinton.” [6]

2020 Election Activities

During the 2020 election, Timmer endorsed Democratic candidate Joseph Biden and actively campaigned against President Trump.

Timmer claimed that he came into politics “idealistic” but then became “caught up in the winning and the losing,” and the Trump administration made him question his motivations. [7] He announced a year before the election that he would support any Democratic nominee with “a pulse.” [8]

Timmer formally endorsed Biden after he won the Democratic nomination, saying that Biden has “a long record of working in a bipartisan fashion to achieve that kind of compromise that moves the country forward.” Timmer also became a founding member of Republicans and Independents for Biden. [9]

Several weeks after the election, Timmer testified before the Michigan Board of State Canvassers in support of certifying the state’s 2020 presidential election results, despite President Trump’s call for the Board to refer the matter to the Republican-controlled state legislature. The Board eventually voted 3-0 in favor of certification, with one Republican member abstaining. [10] Timmer later told Time magazine that he was “concerned things were going to get weird” if Republicans blocked the certification. [11]

After Trump’s re-election defeat, Timmer referred to Trump as a “tumor” that had been “cut out,” but “the cancer has metastasized. And you don’t accommodate and learn to live with cancer. You either eradicate it, or it kills the patient,” referring to the Republican Party. “And I think the patient right now is terminal.” [12]

After the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Timmer referred to extremist militia groups as the “domestic army” of the Republican party. [13] Timmer also called for the removal of lawmakers who had supported the persons arrested at the Capitol. [14]

As of April 2021, Timmer is the principal at Two Rivers Public Affairs, a Michigan political consulting firm. [15]

References

  1. Trevor Calero. “Michigan GOP employees fired from campaign.” Michigan Daily. October 8, 2008. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.michigandaily.com/uncategorized/michigan-gop-employees-fired-campaign/ ^
  2. Malachi Barrett. “Why a former Michigan GOP leader joined disillusioned Republicans against Trump.” Michigan Live. July 30, 2020. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/07/why-a-former-michigan-gop-leader-joined-disillusioned-republicans-against-trump.html ^
  3. Rick Pluta. “Republican member of the Board of State Canvassers resigns.” Michigan Public Radio. June 22, 2012. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.michiganradio.org/post/republican-member-board-state-canvassers-resigns ^
  4. Malachi Barrett. “Why a former Michigan GOP leader joined disillusioned Republicans against Trump.” Michigan Live. July 30, 2020. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/07/why-a-former-michigan-gop-leader-joined-disillusioned-republicans-against-trump.html ^
  5. Todd Spangler. “Former Michigan GOP party leader flips sides. How he’s working to defeat Trump.” Detroit Free Press. July 10, 2020. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/07/10/lincoln-project-former-republicans-anti-donald-trump/5397129002/ ^
  6. Jeff Timmer. “This Republican Will Vote for Any Democrat, Even a Yellow Dog.” Medium. November 30, 2019. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://medium.com/@jefftimmer/this-republican-will-vote-for-any-democrat-even-a-yellow-dog-56f74b64b88 ^
  7. Todd Spangler. “Former Michigan GOP party leader flips sides. How he’s working to defeat Trump.” Detroit Free Press. July 10, 2020. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/07/10/lincoln-project-former-republicans-anti-donald-trump/5397129002/ ^
  8. Jeff Timmer. “This Republican Will Vote for Any Democrat, Even a Yellow Dog.” Medium. November 30, 2019. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://medium.com/@jefftimmer/this-republican-will-vote-for-any-democrat-even-a-yellow-dog-56f74b64b88 ^
  9. “Lincoln Project advisor tells why renegade Republican group is backing Biden.” Fox 2 Detroit. October 13, 2020. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/lincoln-project-advisor-tells-why-renegade-republican-group-is-backing-biden ^
  10. Grace Panetta. “Michigan formally certified its Electoral College votes for Biden, another blow to Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results.” Business Insider. November 23, 2020. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/michigan-canvassing-board-certifies-election-results-for-joe-biden-2020-11 ^
  11. Molly Ball. “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” Time. February 4, 2021. Accessed March 7, 2021. https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/ ^
  12. “Former Michigan GOP Leader: Future Of Party ‘Will Be As Or More Trumpy.’” NPR.org. February 14, 2021. Accessed March 30, 2021. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/14/967917829/former-michigan-gop-leader-future-of-party-will-be-as-or-more-trumpy ^
  13. David D. Kirkpatrick and Mike McIntire. “‘Its Own Domestic Army’: How the G.O.P. Allied Itself With Militants.” New York Times. February 8, 2021. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/us/militias-republicans-michigan.html ^
  14. David Eggert. “Top Michigan Republican stands by Capitol ‘hoax’ comments.” Associated Press. February 10, 2021. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/capitol-siege-donald-trump-michigan-lansing-9124ecf75518f94c43d53c64c6ba3348 ^
  15. Two Rivers Public Affairs. Accessed April 8, 2021. https://www.tworiverspublicaffairs.com/. ^
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